|Publication number||US8213137 B2|
|Application number||US 12/625,187|
|Publication date||Jul 3, 2012|
|Filing date||Nov 24, 2009|
|Priority date||Nov 24, 2008|
|Also published as||US20100127644, WO2010060093A2, WO2010060093A3|
|Publication number||12625187, 625187, US 8213137 B2, US 8213137B2, US-B2-8213137, US8213137 B2, US8213137B2|
|Original Assignee||Gilbert Fregoso|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (14), Referenced by (3), Classifications (26), Legal Events (3)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This application claims the benefits of U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/117,486, filed Nov. 24, 2008, the disclosure of which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety including all figures, tables and drawings.
As man finds ways to forge deeper into the wilderness he also finds the need to be more self-reliant. Snowmobiles and all terrain vehicles (ATVs) are routinely fitted with winches to allow riders to pull themselves from bad situations. It is important that these winches are controlled and controllable so that a safe, easy extraction can be performed that preserves the vehicle as well as the rider. It is also important the a winch controller protect the winch which can be an adventurer's only lifeline when stuck deep in the woods. U.S. Pat. No. 6,864,650 B2 describes a controller for a winch that provides fault detection for battery voltage, temperature, motor temperature and voltage drop. The controller unit also has an overload interrupt. The described unit however is low amperage and costly to produce. Further, the gates of the bridge are driven directly by the microprocessor which slows gate turn-on.
An effective winch controller should protect not only the motor, but also the control circuitry, battery storage and have sufficient power to recover all types of vehicles. It should also be efficient, reliable and cost effective. A need remains for such a device.
All patents, patent applications, provisional patent applications and publications referred to or cited herein, are incorporated by reference in their entirety to the extent they are not inconsistent with the teachings of the specification.
The invention is a solid state relay controller that when configured as a full bridge can be used as a winch controller. When configured as a half bridge the relay of the subject invention can be used as a battery isolator/separator. The solid state relay is unique in that it contains independent charge pumps that isolate each gate of the bridge individually to achieve faster and proper gate turn on. The low side MOSFETs are used as the current sensing device and for thermal compensation protecting the solid state relay as well as the controlled device. N-channel MOSFETs are used to configure the bridge. N-channel MOSFETs offer the unit higher amperage and reduce cost of the device. A preferred embodiment of the subject relay offers dynamic braking by providing a load across the motor allowing the motor to act as the brake.
A solid state relay controller provides independent charge pumps to isolate each gate individually to achieve fast and proper gate turn-on. The subject controller relay prevents the unit from overheating damaging the controlled device.
Generally, MOSFETs are driven by switching. When switching N channel MOSFETs heat is generated as the MOSFET goes from a high resistive state to a low resistive state. In applications requiring very high current loads the heat generated by switching MOSFETs creates a significant problem. For example, a winch requires current loads as high as 500 amps, with continuous current loads required in the 210 amp range, or higher. The heat generated by these loads can destroy the winch motor as well as damage the control circuit.
The solid state relay controller of the subject invention is different in that it drives circuit MOSFETs individually. Both high side and low side MOSFETs are driven separately allowing the gates to be fully turned on. Since the MOSFETs are fully conducted during their entire operation, and are not being switched on and off, the subject relay supports high current loads while generating very little heat. Additionally, electric motor impedance and inductance which also affect performance when switching high current loads are inconsequential when the gates are driven separately. The impedance and inductance of an electric motor greatly affect the high side gate of N channel MOSFETs causing the high side MOSFETs to not conduct fully and generate much heat. The electric motor therefore does not get the proper voltage and current needed to achieve maximum performance. Driving the gates separately and at full conductance negates this problem. Other problems encountered with such circuits include current sensing and thermal compensation. Current load is traditionally monitored by a current sensing resistor. Current sensing resistors are very expensive and lossy. Voltage loss prevents the electric motor from receiving the proper voltage and from performing properly. The subject system uses the low side MOSFETs as a current sensing device and thermal compensation greatly minimizing voltage loss. By measuring the voltage across the low side MOSFETs in conjunction with a current monitoring circuit thermal protection/thermal compensation for the MOSFETs, as well as the motor, battery, and cables are provided.
The subject relay is shown configured for use as a winch controller, specifically for a winch mounted to an ATV. It is noted however that the subject relay is useful in controlling a variety of devices. Besides controlling a variety of winches including a winless winch, the subject relay can also be used to control the power trim and tilt on boat engines. One skilled in the art would realize that the subject solid state relay is applicable for use on any device that requires a constant voltage, under a high current load.
The subject solid state relay is shown generally in each of
Four power MOSFETs, two high side 14, 16 and two low side 18, 20 make the full bridge. The low side MOSFETs 18, 20 are also used as the current sensing device and for thermal compensation. Independent charge pumps 22, 24 isolate each gate of the bridge to achieve faster gate turn on and to maintain the gates at proper voltage with no degradation of voltage to the gate regardless of battery voltage. Isolation transformers are used as part of the charge pumps. These isolation transformers are used in conjunction with diodes which rectify the AC voltage to DC. Capacitors are the filters. Resistors are used as drains for the MOSFET gates when the MOSFETs are turned off so that they do not float. An RC network addresses inrush current by acting as a buffer and time delay.
The current sensing circuit 26, 28 has a voltage reference point and a fixed or programmable voltage divider network. A resistor feedback network stabilizes hysteresis. A slave network of two transistors, a plurality of resistors, and a buffer capacitor shut down the MOSFETs when the current exceed the threshold current setting. PWM ICs 30 regulate and control the voltages to the gate of the MOSFETs. Thermal compensation is achieved by the two lower MOSFETs working as a current sensing device and in conjunction with the current sensing circuit.
A particularly preferred embodiment of the winch of the subject invention is shown in
The circuit of the subject invention provides a cost effective, reliable winch controller. In addition to being placed on snowmobiles, ATVs and trucks, the subject unit can be used to adjust the trim of the motor on a boat. Configured as a half bridge the solid state relay isolates and separates batteries insuring batteries are properly charged.
It is understood that the foregoing examples are merely illustrative of the present invention. Certain modifications of the articles and/or methods may be made and still achieve the objectives of the invention. Such modifications are contemplated as within the scope of the claimed invention.
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|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US8958956||Mar 10, 2014||Feb 17, 2015||Jimmie Doyle Felps||Battery supervisor system having smart winch control|
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|US20160046469 *||Aug 13, 2015||Feb 18, 2016||Ramsey Winch Company||System and method for thermal protection of an electric winch|
|U.S. Classification||361/25, 327/381, 327/378, 318/434, 318/432, 363/134, 363/131, 327/380, 327/365, 363/132, 363/74, 318/801, 363/95, 327/110|
|International Classification||H02H7/08, H02H5/04|
|Cooperative Classification||H02P29/60, Y02T10/72, Y02T10/7275, Y02T10/645, H03K17/0822, G08C17/02, B60L15/2009|
|European Classification||G08C17/02, H02P29/00T, B60L15/20B|
|Feb 12, 2016||REMI||Maintenance fee reminder mailed|
|Jun 28, 2016||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4
|Jun 28, 2016||SULP||Surcharge for late payment|